A Little Solar Viewing

by James Adams

Since it was the first clear day in awhile, I set up for solar viewing at my shop here in La Honda. I saw the prominence Michael and his friend saw; it was huge and diaphanous, on the limb just rotating out of view. There was spot activity visible on the surface next to it, which was just about to go around. I didn't see much other prominence activity.

I was eager to try out a new Vixen objective which I had purchased from Antares in Canada to replace the C 80 FS which had come on the Celestron FS tube ass'y purchased on AstroMart for $55. The Vixen was definitely sharper. I had also just received two pair of ortho eyepieces, 9 mm and 12.5 mm for the binoviewer, so I tried them as well.

I made an adapter for the Coronado 60 mm filter to fit the Vixen objective, out of Mahogany, using a fly cutter on the drill press. A couple coats of pre-cat lacquer, and it was ready to go.

The orthos were too high powered for the daytime atmospheric turbulence; so I used my favorites, a pair of older Meade 26 mm Plossls [with short, smooth tubes].

Using the tuner built into the BF 15 etalon diagonal I was able to see surface detail on the solar disc. The blocking filter on the BF 15 tunes for surface features. Slight doppler shifts as material advances and recedes make them stand out in lighter orange against the red.

The clouds are back today. I'd love to see how that prominence develops, but it looks like it may be awhile before the skies clear again.